The Chicago Bears (12-4) will host the Philadelphia Eagles (9-7) on Sunday afternoon in the finale of Wild Card weekend. Kickoff is set for 4:30 EST at Soldier Field and will be televised nationally on NBC.
Oddsmakers opened up this game with the Bears as a 6.5-point home favorite. That line has stayed the same after early betting, as Chicago is still available at -6.5. The total is currently listed as 41.5 points.
Vegas Game Odds & Betting Preview: Bears vs Eagles
Philadelphia barely managed to sneak into the playoffs after winning the Super Bowl in the 2017-18 season, winning five out of their last six games to finish at 9-7 and clinch a spot in a Wild Card game. The Eagles were definitely below average during the first half of their schedule, struggling on both sides of the ball. QB Carson Wentz had another injury-plagued season, leaving Nick Foles the opportunity to repeat his magic from one year ago. Foles will shoulder the load the rest of the way for Philadelphia, as Wentz suffered a stress fracture in his back and will almost certainly not play again until next season. The receiving game really turned around during the stretch, as Nelson Agholor and Zach Ertz were both fantastic. It will be interesting to see how WR Golden Tate plays against a tough Chicago defense, as he has certainly been underwhelming after being acquired from Detroit. On the ground, Darren Sproles and Josh Adams have been splitting carries out of the backfield after RB Jay Ajayi tore his ACL against Minnesota. Overall, the offense averaged 22.9 points per game (18th overall) during the regular season.
The Eagles also took a little bit of a step backwards on defense this year, as opponents are averaging 21.8 points per game against the defending Super Bowl champs (12th overall). However, they have been quite tough against the run, giving up just 96.9 yards per game on the ground (7th overall).
Chicago won six out of their last seven games to close out the regular season, winning the NFC North crown with a very impressive 12-4 record. The Bears were very strong on both sides of the ball all year long, as QB Mitch Trubisky continued to improve in his 2nd season as a pro. Trubisky threw for 3,223 yards and 24 touchdowns, 17 more than he had in his rookie season. He also was a threat on the ground, rushing for over 400 yards and finding the end zone three more times. There is no doubt that he likes to spread the ball around on offense, as Taylor Gabriel, Allen Robinson II, Anthony Miller, and Trey Burton are all a threat to score through the air. The duo of Jordan Howard and Tarik Cohen played quite well on the ground, with Howard getting the bulk of the work in the trenches and Cohen starring in the passing game. As a whole, Chicago averaged 26.3 points per game during the regular season (9th overall).
The Bears were exceptionally strong on defense this year, holding opponents to just 17.7 points per game (1st overall). Not only did they have the NFL’s best run defense, they also gave up less than 220 yards per game through the air (7th overall).
NFL Betting Free Pick & Vegas Predictions: Chicago -6.5
While the late-season heroics of Nick Foles were definitely a feel-good story, I think that his streak of keeping the Eagles alive in big games will finally come to an end on Sunday afternoon. This Bears defense is legit, especially at Soldier Field where Mack and Co. absolutely terrorize opposing offenses. Mitch Trubisky has been solid and dependable all year long, and he should be able to take the next step in his development with a big win in a playoff game. Jordan Howard has rebounded after his slow start, while Tarik Cohen is a game-breaker who can score from pretty much anywhere on the field. Golden Tate hasn’t had the impact many would have hoped, while the Eagles running game appears to be broken without Ajayi in the mix.
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Chicago is a rock-solid 9-1 ATS over their last ten games overall. They are also a perfect 5-0 ATS in their last five games at Soldier Field. The Eagles are only 5-9-1 ATS over their last 15 games overall. They are also just .500 overall when playing away from Lincoln Financial Field this year.
With the Chargers/Ravens game setting up to be a bit of a snooze-fest on Sunday afternoon, this matchup should be extremely entertaining. While the Eagles late-season charge to the playoffs was certainly fun to follow, I think Chicago should put an end to their impressive run with a stifling defensive performance. While this game might stay close for a couple of quarters, the Bears should manage to pull away in the second half. I’m going to lay the 6.5 points and roll with the home favorite to punch their ticket to the next round – give me Chicago.